40th Anniversary Essays         The Challenge Ahead by David Spevack     

Forty years, forty years.  That's a magic number in Jewish history.  For forty years the Israelits wandered int he desert before entering the promised land.

Forty years ago a small band of those who wandered out to the wilds of Greenbelt (then a distant suburb of Washington) gathered together and formed a congregation.  I understand that like the ancient Israelites, there were differences between the early founders.  But nevertheless they persevered, moving from private homes to borrowed rooms in churches or movie houses.  Through these times they built a spirit of involvement, effort and courage to tackle any job. Hopefully, this is a spirit we will never lose.  Twenty-five years ago these founders dedicated a building they had literally built themselves.  In the fourteen years that my family has been a part of this congregation  I have seen this same spirit infuse a Sisterhood which does home-style professional catering; a Men's Club that tackles carnivals, art shows, and spaghetti dinners; a religious school which has brought us honor in the community; and an adult programming committee worthy of a congregation many times the size of ours.  Today we are still growing.  The years ahead offer a challenge.  How do we continue to grow yet maintain a spirit of family warmth and a willingness to work together?  I am certain we can succeed if we are only willing to try.  For the years ahead we must never forget or lose the spirit which moved the founders as we continue to build and grow.